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Monday, February 22, 2016

"Man Up!" - Signs

I found myself following a long rabbit trail as I studied in the Word yesterday morning.  I had started out with Ephesians 5:1-2 where the writer is encouraging his readers to imitate God by walking in love as Jesus did when He traversed the towns and countryside around Jerusalem.  Then six scriptures later ended up at the end of the book of Mark.  My immediate thought was to compare Paul’s statement to “Live in love as Christ also loved us…” (Ephesians 5:2 God’s Word ©) with Mark’s conclusion to his Gospel declaring that from His position at the right hand of God, Jesus was “working with and confirming the word (logos) with signs following.  Amen.” (Mark 16:20 KJV)

As I followed that direction I realized that Jesus, and later His disciples demonstrated their love through the miraculous signs and wonders that followed the Word that they ministered to those in need.  The word translated “following” is also defined as “accompanied” in both Strong’s and Thayer’s Greek dictionaries.  I personally like that idea better as it gives me strength and confidence in knowing that Jesus is right there with me accompanying the Word that I speak and confirming it with His mighty signs and wonders.

After that thought, the word “signs” just sort of jumped off the page to me!  Have you ever had that happen?  When I looked up the word “signs” I discovered that it means just that… a sign!  Thayer’s went a little deeper explaining that it is “of signs portending remarkable events soon to happen.”  Since I wasn’t familiar with the use of the term “portending” I looked it up on one of the online dictionaries where it defined it as “a sign or warning that something momentous or calamitous is likely to happen.”

That explanation sounded to me a lot like the positive definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1.  Where faith is a “sign” that assures us of what we are expecting to happen due to our stand of faith in God’s Word.  As I sat there at my desk, I drifted off into deep thought picturing the many signs that we see around us every day.  As I looked out our study window I saw the street sign that tells the name of our street and the cross street that runs perpendicular to our home.  I pictured the “for sale” sign on the house down the street and the “Sprint” sign on the phone box on the corner of our property.

Then I had a picture of my wife holding a sign and had to stop and think about what that sign would say.  Then it hit me… Why of course!... Since we are standing for her healing based on the promises of Papa God as Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord that heals, I laughed and drew a picture of a sign in my note book that said “HEALED AND WHOLE!”

From there my mind flashed back to some of the scenes that the Fox newscasters were showing on TV as they discussed the results of the South Carolina Primary on the previous evening.  Every time they reported from rooms where the different candidates were getting ready to make their various speeches from, most of their supporters were holding signs that showed who they were voting for.  They were letting the world know where they stood and what they believed!  

Then is dawned on me that this is EXACTLY what we should be doing as Christians and especially when we are standing in faith for a particular need with the answer based on God’s Word.  How are those around us going to know who and what we stand for if we don’t have a sign that declares what it is?  Now I’m not necessarily saying that we need to be carrying cardboard signs attached to a standard, but our words, our inner (and outer) peace and our actions of love should be the signs that accompany us wherever we go!

A few days ago my wife and I went to Walmart to get a few groceries and when our turn in line at the cashier came, the young lady nodded to Piper and stated that she was sleeping and looked so content.  To which I commented that it was probably more the strong anti-seizure meds that were affecting her.  I also told her about the diagnoses of Alzheimer’s.  The cashier nodded slowly and as a sad look started to come across her face I immediately mentioned “but we’re not giving up as we serve a mighty God.”  And WOW  what a change came over her!  She immediately broke into a huge smile and exuberantly declared that “Yes, we do serve a mighty God who can do anything!”

Thinking about that experience now, I can see that as soon as we put up our “sign” designating Who and what we were believing for, the gal’s whole countenance changed and our conversation was quickly hot-wired with a charge of Faith!  That incident made my day and in fact… my weekend as well… and I bet it did for that faith-charged cashier too!
That’s the effect that I like to have on people and situations… don’t you? 

So, let me ask you at the beginning of this new week… what “sign” are you going to be carrying and holding high as you walk through your activities each day?  What are you believing for?  Who are you believing in?  Who gets your vote as your favorite Lord and Savior of your life?

Answer those questions and hold your sign up with confidence, peace and joy!  Have a tremendous week and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What SIGN am I expecting to hold up today?”

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